Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Column Dressing

Column dressing is using color to create a long slender illusion.

  
I often use this dressing technique to appear taller and slimmer. Choose a top and pants in the same color and a topper in another color. A topper can be a sweater, a jacket, vest or a blouse left mostly open or even a large scarf draped across your shoulders. 
 

Add accessories that tie into the color of your topper to look really polished and put together. Looking at the pieces already in your closet in a different way can often give you a new look.




Thank you for reading and for all your kind comments. I hope you have a great day.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Stroll Through Old Town

The oldest town in the state of Tennessee is Jonesborough. It is about seven miles from my home. Today Mickey and I went for a walk in the town square. It was an overcast day but a few of the pictures we took turned out



Jonesborough was founded in 1779, 17 years before Tennessee even became a state. Can you guess what those steps are for? They represent the steps that were once used to allow passengers to board the stagecoach as it stopped on its way through town. 


That's the courthouse behind me. 
Mickey's office was once located there.

 The town has many shops and restored homes. There is a town museum which includes a log cabin and a one room school-house. Jonesborough is the home to the International Storytelling Center, which holds the annual National Storytelling Festival on the first full weekend in October. 

 Today I wore a burgundy long sleeve tee with a waterfall cardigan from Ross in the same burgundy tone. The gray side zip pants are from Talbots. The short boots are Nichols from Belk. The bag is old by Nine West via T.J. Maxx. The statement necklace was a gift from Mickey a few years ago.


After a stroll about town in the cool air it was time for the short drive back to Johnson City for dinner at our favorite Carrabba's Italian Grill. We are such regulars there that members of the wait staff often come to our table to visit with us even when they are not our servers for the evening. 



We hope you have a great week! 
Thanks for reading about our fun weekend!

Window Shopping

After a week of snow and ice the sun finally showed up today! Early in the morning my neighborhood was encased in ice but the sun soon melted it all.

  
When the weather finally allowed safe passage, 
I was eager to leave my home for the first time in a few days.



Mickey took me out to lunch and we ran a few errands. 
It was so good to see sunshine!


I'm wearing straight leg heritage fit jeans and a white tunic blouse from Talbots with Ralph Lauren booties via T.J. Maxx. The red bag is Tahari via T.J. Maxx. The tunic length sweater is from Ross. The animal print chiffon scarf is old. Layering for warmth can be tricky because it adds so much bulk to our silhouettes. To balance this effect I wore the slimmest jeans I have with boots which have a higher heel.


There will be no outdoor dining today!

  
Isn't it wonderful to have a best friend? That's my sweet Mickey with me in this photo.

We both have a weakness for chocolate desserts. A couple of times a month we share one after a light lunch of salad. This way we don't have to totally give up life's small pleasures.
 


Thank you for reading
I hope you have a safe and happy day. 
 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Sunny Sunday!


Mickey and I often take a drive over the mountains to Asheville, North Carolina. It's only about an hour from my house but there's so much to see and do there.

 

We walked around that corner behind me and into the artist owned Mystic Masala Gallery where I found a great necklace.




Many of the buildings in Asheville have an Art Deco design. This is the Flatiron Building and in front of it is this sculpture of an iron...


 
  
I'm wearing the new necklace here. The pants are Peck & Peck from Stein Mart. The denim blazer is old from Dillard's. The red long sleeve tee is from Talbots. The red bag is by Tahari and the booties are by Madden Girl.


  
On almost every corner there is a street performer.



This lady sounded so much like Tracy Chapman. 
They were all really good!



The Early Girl Eatery on Wall Street was made famous when Rachel Ray did a segment of one her shows here. We also had a great meal there today!



Your table is ready!  
(Mickey's piano keys scarf was the hit of the day. He got lots of compliments!)


We can never be this close to The Chocolate Fetish without stopping in for dessert.




 Awesome truffles to share!


 I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well. Thank you for reading my blog!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Hair Cut!

I was inspired by my sister's recent new hairstyle so I visited her stylist this week. After a couple of years of having the same look it's fun to change the lines a little. 



I have fine thinning naturally wavy hair which I allowed to go grey after I turned fifty.



The stylist called this a modified wedge.



This is a wash and go look that was styled wet and gently lifted at the roots with my fingers as it dried naturally while I applied my makeup. If I move it too much as it dries the result is frizz. I never have a lot of time to spend on such things so my cut needs to be one that works with my hair's natural tendencies

I like this cut because it provides a bit of sculpting at the nap of the neck since I never want to add bulk there. The crown is lifted and bangs are messy but not puffy. Bangs can either flatter your face or make you look stuck in the 1980's. This cut also flatters my round face and draws the eye upward.   

Thank you for reading my blog and for all your kind comments. I hope you have blue skies this week!
 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Warm Weather in January!

It was seventy-five degrees here in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina yesterday!


Mickey and I took a drive over the beautiful mountains to Asheville North Carolina yesterday. It was much more like a Spring day.

He sat patiently waiting for me while I shopped for hours. Our afternoon included a late lunch 'restaurant hop' through Asheville.  We had an appetizer at Carmels and then took a stroll down the street to have lunch outdoors at The Laughing Seed on Wall Street. After another stroll we had divine chocolate truffles at The Chocolate Fetish




I had to go looking through my closet for something cool to wear that didn't look too summery. These great fitting side zip pants are from Talbots. (I bought five pairs of this style of pants on the same day!) The off white tank is from Ruby Rd. at Dillard's. The cardigan is old from Target. The large square silk(like) scarf is from Ross. The sunglasses, short boots and bag are a few years old.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!


 


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Animal Print Jacket

Life is finally getting back to normal after the holidays immediately followed by all the issues associated with launching a new web site for my company. I was so ready for this Friday date night!




This was such a busy day I didn't have time to do much more than touch up my makeup, change shoes and slip into this jacket. During the day I wore black low wedge shoes and a purple three quarter sleeve thin knit sweater.
 
The animal print jacket is made from a wonderful light weight metallic material. I wore it with a white silky tee and a tribal inspired necklace by Erica Lyons from Belk. The gray slacks are from Talbots. The evening bag is by Kenneth Cole Reaction. The shoes are BCBG. The large face watch is from Stein Mart




I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for reading!
 


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Many Shades of Gray

The sky was many shades of gray today and so was my attire.


When our temperatures dip into the teens I would like nothing better than to sit by the fire and read for the evening. However, Mr. Mickey was taking me out to dinner so we were on our way out the door when these photos were snapped.




Sweater from Coldwater Creek. Black long sleeve tee from Chico's. Pants from Talbots. Necklace by Erica Lyons from Belk. Shoes are from a couple of years ago DSW. Evening purse from T.J. Maxx.

I hope you have a warm and cozy weekend! Thank you for reading.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Change your mind... change your life.

This really awful photo was taken in the summer of 2010. As you can see, I was fully immersed in my frumpiness.


Summer 2010


My reason for posting this terrible photo is to prove to you that even small changes in what you eat, how you dress and how you see yourself can make a lot of difference in your life. After I saw this and the other photos taken on the same day of this woman I hardly recognized, I started making small changes every day. Within three weeks I started to see change. Within six months I had lost almost forty pounds!


Summer 2012



I stopped thinking of myself as invisible and old which was subconsciously giving me permission to stop caring about how I looked. A positive attitude is so very important. I started going for more walks and eating only fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains. (Read the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman for more information on what to eat and why.) I stopped wearing loose fitting dull clothes.






I still weigh 143 pounds at five feet six and a half inches tall. I am 58 years old in the photo above and I am so much happier than I was even in my thirties and forties. 

I don't do any special exercises, but I do try to go for a walk and sit less each day. I don't eat meat or processed foods. 

The reason I am sharing all this with you is to be an example. (There are so few of us over fifty gals in advertising.) I want to show you that even small changes in your life can make you much healthier and help you feel better about yourself. I also want to encourage you to go out and enjoy all that life has to offer. My fifties have proven to me that life really does get better. 


I sincerely hope that you will make a firm commitment to yourself to be the most positive, happy, healthy person you can be. You deserve it!



Thank you for joining me and on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Rain Hat

I added a faux fur rain hat to my collection this month. My hair and humidity isn't a pretty combination so there are several hats in my closet. I think this one will be a favorite this winter!



Some of my jackets and coats are now too large for me but I will get this one tailored. I love the teal blue color. It's a Geiger boiled wool jacket that works great over pants. The scarf is a large square silk(like) material in teal with a bit of animal print from Ross. The bag is a winter favorite by Tiganello from 2011.



The pants are a straight leg style from Stein Mart last year. 



The booties are by Nine West.



The very warm and comfy faux fur hat is from Coldwater Creek. The grey long sleeved tee is by Vera Wang from Kohl's.



Being silly in the rain brings back sweet memories of my childhood on a farm in North Carolina. The now rare (for me) sound of rain on a tin roof always transports me to that far away simple time. I loved to curl up wrapped in one of my grandmother's hand made quilts on the front porch swing of our old farmhouse and watch the rainfall. When the storm passed I would go looking for frogs and red salamanders.  Being an only child at that time and living on a secluded farm meant finding playmates in nature.

Thank you for reading my blog and visiting with me on Facebook this past year. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Red Jeggings!

Saturday was a beautiful day here! 


For shopping and running errands I wore red jeggings. Yes me in jeggings! (They are leggings cut like jeans.) I found these at T.J. Maxx. I wore them with Ralph Lauren cognac brown booties (via T.J. Maxx) and a blue Tencel material tunic from Coldwater Creek



The suede animal print bag is more than twenty years old. Proof that if you buy timeless classics they will serve you for many years. I normally do not wear a shoulder bag but this one is a small style that is good for hands free shopping. 


I purposely kept all my other accessories minimal and in a gold silver combination. The large face watch is from Stein-Mart and the large silver with gold hoops are from B'Dazzled in Blowing Rock North Carolina.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jazz Up Your Salads!

Do you get tired of eating salads? 
So would I, if limited to just leafy greens but they are among the most nutritious foods we can eat.






Leafy baby greens are almost always the largest portion of my lunch or dinner, but I also have steamed, baked, sautéed and fresh raw veggies. Baked sweet potatoes are full of nutrients and a great addition to any meal, but I also enjoy having wild rice, quinoa or other grains. A portobello mushroom cap, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, and squash are also included here. Beans and lentils are an excellent source of protein, and they keep you feeling full for longer.



During the summer of 2011, I was facing serious health problems along with numerous possible surgeries. A dear friend suggested I read the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. By just changing my choices of foods and taking a few walks every week, those health problems have been reversed, and I have lost more than forty pounds.  


After reading my Power Porridge breakfast recipe, many of you have asked, "What do you eat for the rest of the day?" I have a combination of the pictured salad and vegetables for a late lunch every day with an occasional glass of white wine. Water, almond milk, green tea and white wine are my only beverages. I rarely eat dinner but when I do I try to choose an entree close to this salad and vegetable plate. By adding a variety of vegetables which are currently in season, you will always be able to enjoy an evolving selection of flavors and textures to add to your salads.


I like to create a full of flavor veggie stir-fry to serve as the base for my soups and salads. Start by adding some chopped sun-dried tomatoes which packed in olive oil and rosemary to a wide, thick-bottomed sauté pan. Add chopped onions and mushrooms on medium-high heat until the onions start to get tender then add whatever chopped vegetables you want to cook lightly and turn down the heat to medium. Add chopped garlic near the end of the cooking time to keep it from becoming bitter. The combination can be used as a seasoning base for cooking vegetables or making soup. I use some unsalted vegetable stock instead of oils to keep stir-fry from sticking. When the sautéed items are tender, I spread them on a beautiful plate to cool while I am cutting up the fresh vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, celery and sweet red pepper. I use organic baby greens which have been triple washed and layer them over the cooled sauté. I top the salad with the fresh chopped veggies.  



Notice that I do not use any dressing, cheese, bread, croutons, or crackers. I add a little aged balsamic vinegar that is so delicious you might be tempted to drink it.


Below: those are cannellini beans and hemp hearts with sunflower seeds atop lightly steamed fresh organic broccoli, frozen organic peas, organic red pepper, sliced avocado and cherry tomatoes all on a bed of organic baby lettuces. I have some variation of this type of meal almost every summer afternoon.






For me, being vegan is a healthy way of eating 95% of the time. It isn't some strange religion that I follow obsessively. If I am a guest in a friend's home, and they are serving chicken, I enjoy it along with everyone else. At my next meal, I return to eating plant-based non-processed factory packaged foods
 
Thank you for reading my blog. 
I wish you the best of health!


Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Date Night Success!

Last night was date night. I tried on about four different looks before I settled upon this one. On those rare occasions when all the elements of an outfit come together as they should, it is a time to celebrate.


The jacket has the same charcoal gray background as the pants which have the same tweed like texture. The burgundy scarf picks up the burgundy tones that are woven into the fabric of the jacket. 


The small simple collar of the jacket is turned up and the scarf is wound around underneath. I'm wearing a necklace of my own design with a long sleeve black tee underneath the jacket. Note that because I have a round face I rarely ever wear a turtleneck. A V-neck top is my first choice when practical. 

A large portion of the successful look of this outfit is color. I have soft contrast cool summer coloring which means I look best in colors that are dusty rather than intense. The jacket's tailoring is very simple and cut close to the body with a zipper closure. It has small upturned cuffs. 

The black long sleeved tee is from Chico's. The pants and the jacket are old from Coldwater Creek. The small leather evening bag is from Stein-Mart and the simple black high heeled booties are from Nine West.

Thank you for reading! I hope that this post will help you put together a winning look of your own. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Autopilot Dressing

Last evening we attended the Jonesborough Progressive Dinner, a wonderful holiday ritual for Mickey and I. The event takes place in the oldest town in Tennessee which is only about eight miles from my home. We take a tour of several historic homes throughout the town and have one course of the meal at each home. There is live music and the owners are there to tell us about the history and architecture of the home. Along the route one of the Historians is on board the bus to tell us about the building we are about to visit and it's relation to the history of the town.




Knowing that we would be going in and out of the weather and in a variety of settings I opted for layers which could be peeled off as necessary. During the small amount of time I had to get dressed for the event, not one but two dear friends called! Friends always take priority so of course I chatted with them while getting dressed which means I had a total of three minutes to actually think about what I was wearing before Mickey arrived. This thrown together at the last minute look carried me through the evening but it isn't a winner in my eyes. Let's talk about why.

A better look would have been to button the jacket most of the way up with only the top fold of the scarf showing at the neckline. The open jacket and flowing scarf add too much width at my torso which doesn't balance with the fuller leg tailored pants. Autopilot dressing means I don't have the extra few minutes it takes to apply a critical eye to what I've put together. The up side is that I accomplished what I wanted to by wearing festive layers that could be removed as needed but remain appropriately dressed for the event. (Wearing red is about as close to a Christmas sweater as I will ever come.)

The pants are from Chico's and the red long sleeve tee is also. The jacket is from Geiger. The shoes are from Ros Hommerson (similar here). The scarf is something I picked up at Ross and the evening bag is from T. J. Maxx.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Come as you are... Really?


Our society has become so very casual that we now see grown women at the Post Office in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Would you really want to run into your boss, your potential client or your high school rival in your pajamas in a public place? It takes only three minutes to get dressed for running an errand if you have a couple of planned outfits hanging in your closet together and ready to slip into. You will be glad you took the extra minutes to put on actual clothes when you have to look someone in the eye and speak to them whether you know them or not. 



You say you are more comfortable in jeans and a tee? These three looks are built around jeans and a tee. The sources for all these products can be found at my Polyvore page. You can look really nice and well put together no matter what you feel most comfortable in. 

As our American Thanksgiving holiday approaches I am so grateful for the chance we have had to get to know each other over the past year. I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming years!
 
Thank you so much for reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Invest in Your Style


The confident well dressed woman understands that her core wardrobe will serve her well for years to come if she invests in quality, classics and colors that complement her own coloring. She updates her look with a few trending items each season to stay current. She does not feel the need to dress in all the trends of the moment from head to toe.

Dressing in too many trends at once actually makes you look older and as if you are trying too hard. Rather than sporting a color blocked peplum top with skinny jeans, an animal print bag and platform shoes try adding a colorful animal print scarf and red flats to update your look. It's a subtle way to say "I know the current style but I also know who I am."

You may shop for the items pictured here on my Polyvore page. 
 
Thank you for your kind comments on my last blog post!